High-school sophomores and juniors from the Midwest Energy & Communications (MEC) service area are invited to apply for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour Washington, D.C. as part of this summer’s National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Youth Tour, June 9-14. MEC will sponsor up to two students who are co-op members, and will cover all travel and tour expenses.

MEC’s student representatives will meet up with other Michigan electric cooperative delegates in Portland for orientation, then board a motor coach for D.C. They will stop to tour the Civil War battlegrounds in Gettysburg and participate in a flag ceremony at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, birthplace of The Star Spangled Banner. While in Washington they will tour various monuments and memorials, explore several museums of the Smithsonian Institution, witness the time-honored changing of the guard ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, and visit with Michigan Senators and Congressmen on Capitol Hill.

“Youth Tour is one of many rich traditions within the electric cooperative movement, and an experience that impacts and inspires young leaders,” says Patty Nowlin, vice president of corporate communications at MEC. “It’s a meaningful way that we can inspire future co-op and community leaders and leave a lasting and memorable impression on their lives.”

Interested students should complete the online application at CooperativeYouthTour.com by Feb. 28. MEC will select four candidates to participate in a full-day, hands-on educational experience at our Cassopolis headquarters in March. Students will learn about MEC, meet with different team members to learn about careers in the industry, and see first-hand what it means to be part of an electric cooperative. Based on the interactions that day, two students will be selected to represent MEC on the tour.